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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils suffer from familiar struggles in loss to No. 9 Oregon

Close, but couldn’t pull the upset

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State (10-6, 1-2 Pac-12) dropped its sixth game of the season on Saturday as they fell 78-69 to No. 9 Oregon (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12).

The Sun Devils were once again doomed by a poor offensive showing, only connecting on 39 percent of their field goals and 31 percent of their three-point attempts.

The ASU defensive effort was equally uninspiring, as the Sun Devils allowed the high-powered Ducks to hit on 48 percent of their overall shots, including an impressive 41 percent of their three-point tries.

The Sun Devils were led in scoring by guard Remy Martin, who eclipsed 1,000 career points after collecting 29 points on 9-21 shooting, including 3-9 on three-point shots. The junior also led ASU in assists, totaling six, and in free throws, going a perfect 8-8 from the line.

Beyond Martin, the ASU scoring was sparse as his fellow Sun Devil starters combined to total a mere 16 points.

Guard Rob Edwards was ASU’s second leading scorer, building off his 18-point effort Thursday against Oregon State, notching 11 points on 4-10 shooting, including 3-8 from beyond the arc.

He captained a bench group that was largely responsible for keeping the Sun Devils afloat, as ASU’s second unit outscored UO’s 24-10.

Despite the defeat, there were a number of encouraging signs the Sun Devils will look to replicate moving forward in Pac-12 play.

Among the promising indicators was an exceptional effort by ASU from the free throw line, as the Sun Devils hit on 14 of their 16 attempts from the charity stripe.

There were also a handful of strong displays by the Sun Devil defense, namely forcing UO into 12 turnovers compared to only nine for ASU and limiting the fast-paced Ducks to only 12 fast break points.

There remain though a number of concerns for ASU moving forward, primarily on the offensive end of the floor.

The Sun Devil struggles shooting the ball have been well documented, and they were on full display Saturday night, especially from beyond the three-point arc.

Martin and Edwards were responsible for two-thirds of ASU’s three-point field goals, as the remaining Sun Devils were a disappointing 3-12 from long distance.

ASU now heads back to Arizona following a bittersweet split in Oregon that saw the Sun Devils pair an incredibly promising win Thursday against the Oregon State Beavers with an equally disheartening loss to the highly-touted Ducks.

The Sun Devils get another shot at a ranked opponent this Thursday as they host the 25th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes, who ASU opened the season against with an 81-71 loss in Shanghai, China, before hosting the Utah Utes the following Saturday.